Zion Williamson didn’t see many minutes during his first game in a New Orleans Pelicans uniform, but it was all he needed to demonstrate what he brings to the NBA.
Playing against the New York Knicks and former Duke teammate R.J. Barrett on Friday at the NBA Summer League, Williamson posted 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting and three rebounds in nine minutes. Every made field goal was a dunk or lay-up.
Zion Williamson is very good at dunking
Williamson got his first point on a free throw after being fouled on a dunk attempt 15 seconds into the game. Minutes later, he finally took flight.
— NBA (@NBA) July 6, 2019
The biggest highlight of the night came when Williamson bullied Kevin Knox after a defensive rebound then slammed it home.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 6, 2019
Williamson also brought the fireworks in the pregame lay-up lines, with the raucous crowd going actually booing him when he opted to do lay-ups.
Pelicans’ Zion Williamson goes off the glass in Las Vegas Summer League debut pic.twitter.com/NFuOSGavYc
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 6, 2019
Williamson’s night came to a close at halftime after the Pelicans reportedly decided to shut him down following a knee-to-knee hit at some point during the half. Williamson was reportedly scheduled for 24 to 28 minutes entering the game.
The injury is not expected to linger, the Pelicans are merely being precautionary with the player who holds their franchise’s future in the hands.
That didn’t stop the crowd from chanting “We want Zion!” during the third quarter.
Zion Williamson is done for the evening, the Pelicans PR says. He took a knee to knee hit (left knee) and won’t return. They do not expect it to be a lingering injury.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 6, 2019
Despite the sudden end, it was an impressive night for Williamson. He had plenty of notable spectators.
LeBron, AD show out for Zion
Among the crowd watching Williamson and the Pelicans face the Knicks were LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, all players with key roles in the Pelicans’ past, present and future. Also present were Floyd Mayweather, Trae Young and as many as 1,000 members of the media.
David and Williamson actually had a run-in before the game, a friendly meeting between players representing different eras in Pelicans history.
The Pelicans past and future collide as Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson meet up and share a couple moments prior to Zion’s first NBA game. pic.twitter.com/R5XVw5UoCt
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) July 6, 2019
The game was eventually postponed after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook Las Vegas and Southern California. Williamson didn’t have anything to do with that.
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